[Sca-cooks] a Medieval "vegan" potpie??

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Oct 3 23:01:25 PDT 2009

Sabra asked earlier today about a recipe for a vegan pot pie and then  
clarified that with:

<<< Something with a covering like puff pastry, a fritter top on maybe  
a small
casserole type thing.  I wasn't offended...just surprised by the  
answers I
got until the medieval cookery website was mentioned and you asking  
for more

Thank you for not running off offended. I have been on this list since  
it's early days in 1997 or so, and there have been very few verbal  
assaults on anyone. Of course you wouldn't know this, but on this list  
if you think someone is attacking you, it is time to back up and think  
about it. Just something to keep in mind for the future. We've had  
some heated discussions, but they have tended to be civil.

As someone mentioned the weekend is not always the time to get a quick  
answer since many folks don't have access to this list except at work.  
In my case, I saw this discussion a bit late because I get this list  
in digest form.

I wasn't sure from your first question, using the term "pot pie",  
whether you wanted a completely modern recipe or a period one. Or even  
if a modern one what you were thinking of by "pot pie". My knowledge  
of pot pies is small 4 or 5 inch pies that come frozen in small  
alluminum pie pans with both a bottom and a top crust which you bake  
in the oven. A convenience food, and not a very good tasting one at  
that. I have seen them on restaurant menus, but haven't wanted to pay  
big bucks for something I can buy at the grocery for 99 cents (or  
whatever they are these days).

I seem to remember puff pastry being out of period. Are you saying you  
want something with only a top crust, and no bottom crust?

What do you think of when you think of "beef stew"? Do you think of  
beef cubes, along with carrots, potatoes and probably various other  
vegetables? Well, we haven't found anything like that in the medieval  
corpus. They primarily seem to be meat chunks and onions and a few  
other items but not the mix of vegetables you think of today. The same  
may well be true of period pies.

Are you primarily looking for vegan food items to go with a medieval  
meal? Or are you really trying to come as close as you can to a  
medieval vegan pot pie?

If the former, here are some files in the Florilegium which might be  
of use to you. If you've never been there before, the Florilegium is a  
moderately sized site covering a wide-variety of SCA and medieval  
subjects. The address can be found in my signature line below.  
Bookmark it. Very few people can apparently remember how to spell  
it. :-)
In the FOOD section:
vegetarian-msg    (78K)  4/ 2/08    Medieval vegetarianism. Lenten  

And this one in the FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS section, translated by one of our  
very own list members:
Guisados1-art    (220K)  5/28/01    A translation of Ruperto de Nola's
                                        1529 "Libre del Coch", part 1  
of 2
                                        by Mistress Brighid ni Chiarain.
Guisados2-art    (116K)  5/28/01    "Libre del Coch". part 2 of 2.
                                        Lenten recipes.

Well, actually the second half, but I needed to the leave the first  
half in so you would know better which manuscript I was talking about.

This brings up another question, since you are new to this list. How  
comfortable are you working out recipes from the raw, medieval recipe?  
Often the measurements are not given and sometimes they say "spices"  
and expect you to know what is appropriate. Do you prefer recipes that  
have been worked out by someone else into a modern recipe format? The  
manuscripts above will not have been worked out in those files.  
However, you will find a number of the worked out recipes from that  
manuscript in the fd-Spain-msg file in the FOOD-BY-REGION section of  
the Florilegium. Or indicate which recipe you are having a problem  
with or better, repost it, to this list and I'm sure some of the  
experienced cooks here will be willing to help you work it out. It  
might even turn out to be a good exercise for this list.  Sometimes  
multiple people here will come up with multiple, plausible modern  
recipes from the same period recipe.

For some information on pie fillings, including recipes for fillings  
and crusts here are some more Florilegium files to look at.
In the FOOD section:
DYKIP-Pies-art    (16K)  7/ 5/09  "Did You Know its Period? Part 5:  
                                      Simon's Pies" by HL Rowan  
pies-msg         (178K)  9/ 6/09    Period pie crusts, meat and fruit  
tarts-msg        (108K)  6/22/08  Period small, open-topped, shallow  
    ( bottom crusts, but no top crusts, which is why I was wondering  
more exactly what you meant by pot pie)

In the FOOD-FRUITS section:
fruit-pies-msg    (68K) 10/10/08  Period fruit pies. Recipes. Baking  
   (Most of these would be vegan, wouldn't they?)

In the FOOD-SWEETS section:
Custard-Tarts-art (42K)  7/18/09  "The Great Custard Tart Caper" by  
                                     Jehanne de Huguenin, OP.
custards-msg      (34K) 11/28/06  Period custards, custard tarts and  

I recently added this file to the FOOD-UTENSILS section. This file  
concentrates on free-standing pies, where the pie crust acts more as a  
container and often wasn't eaten.  But since in your last message you  
were talking about a crust only on top, this may not be what you are  
looking for right now.
dough-contain-msg (90K)  9/ 6/09  Dough as the baking container. Free- 
                                      pie crusts. Coffins, Coffyns.

You mentioned fritters in your last message. While I'm unfamiliar with  
these being used to top a pie, perhaps this file, in the FOOD section,  
on medieval frittours might be of interest.
frittours-msg     (76K)  9/ 7/08  Period fried breaded foods. Recipes.

<<< This is something I am not too sure about because I so very little  
cooking and I don't even know if there was vegans back in the middle  
ages. >>>

Very few vegans. I doubt that many folks could afford to be that  
choosy. Vegetarians, yes. Mainly because of the restrictions of the  
Church. But as others have mentioned, fast day menus often include  
fish, so you will need to choose around those if your vegan friends  
don't include fish in their diet.

<<< (By choice and not my circumstances)  But I will continue to ask  
questions. >>>

Lol. You won't be alone. I suppose I've gotten a reputation for doing  
that here as well. But often the questions I expected to be an open  
and shut case. "here is the answer, Stefan. Why are you asking such  
easy/stupid questions" can go on for several days. And I find out the  
question wasn't so obvious, after all.

When asked, and often not, I can often come up with various  
Florilegium files to suggest to you. Sometimes they might even have to  
do with what you are actually looking for. So feel free to clarify or  
ask for more if these don't quite fit what you were looking for.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list